The Tragical History of the Life and Death of Dr Faustus

Mephistopheles (Preston Fox) is confronted by Faustus (Conner Keef), as hissing spirits watch from a distance, in The Secret Theatre's production of Christopher Marlowe's The Tragical History of the Life and Death of Dr Faustus. Original photo by Steven Speliotis.
Should you venture into Queens for this parable on immediate gratification?

By Andrew Andrews

Faust is the classic “buy now, pay later” story of a man who sells his soul to the devil in exchange for worldly knowledge and temporary power.

As the foremost playwright of Elizabethan tragedy before Shakespeare, Christopher Marlowe’s version of the tale has survived more than four hundred years, giving us a glimpse of that era’s infatuation with magic and necromancy.

In Marlowe’s take, Dr Faustus has become dissatisfied with his studies, and summons the demon Mephistopheles as his personal servant, providing the answer to any question and performing any deed Faustus desires for a period of twenty four years.

In return, Faustus pledges his soul to eternal damnation, and when Lucifer appears after the requisite term to claim his reward, Faustus fails his last chance to repent, and gives the devil his due.

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Andrew Andrews attended The Tragical History of the Life and Death of Dr Faustus at The Secret Theatre in New York on Thursday, December 5, 2019 @ 7:30pm to write this review.

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